The Apprentice, week ten: The Real Deal

We were slightly ahead of the game with the knowledge that Stephen would be leading the way for team Stirling and we soon discovered that Jade would take the helm for Phoenix. Each team were challenged to find the best high-end deals to be placed on a luxury daily deals website. The key words here are luxury and high-end which, unsurprisingly, went completely over Stephens head.

He sent Ricky off to attend pre-arranged appointments whilst he and Gabrielle went along together. At this point you have to wonder what on earth they said to prospective clients as many of them had no idea that they were expecting to negotiate such high discounts, one restaurant owner refused any discount whatsoever!

Jade pitched the deals website to a Michelin starred restaurant and all was going well until neither she nor Nick could do some basic maths. The restaurateur was clearly annoyed at their lack of mathematical skills as well as their inability to use as calculator and left them to it. Once he returned, they did manage to secure a pretty decent deal for the website.

Stephen, obviously working towards the high-end, luxury brief, sense the sarcasm, managed to secure a few deals with a fish pedicure company and a dentist for some whitening treatments. His only saving grace seemed to be Ricky who managed to secure multiple restaurant deals even if it did mean Ricky having to do a great impression of the Vicar of Dibley. Three restaurants, three portions of scallops and Ricky continued to smile.

Stephen also managed to be more condescending and patronising during this weeks task than at any other point. He ensured he went with Gabrielle as, in his opinion; she’s unable to work on her own and needs to be kept on a short leash. The cheek of him! This is the man who judging by last weeks task can’t tell the difference between French and English. Give me strength!

Stephen openly admitted that he is unable to handle the pressure or stress that goes hand in hand with such a short deadline and it seemed that Ricky had to keep motivating him. In fact, it appeared to anyone who had missed the beginning of the episode that Ricky had been the project manager.

The boardroom revealed that Stephens team lost the task with just over £6000 worth of sales versus Jades £14,000. Team Phoenix were sent off for afternoon tea while Stirling returned to the boardroom to face the wrath of Lord Sugar. Finally there appeared to be some passion in the boardroom! Over the last few weeks it’s been a fairly dull part of the show but this week changed that entirely. Stephen and Ricky went head to head when it came to placing the blame for the failure of the task. Ricky kept his cool and presented his case articulately whilst Stephen became flustered, more stressed and got progressively louder. Surprise, surprise, Gabrielle sat quietly at the end of the table hoping the focus would remain diverted.

Lord Sugar pointed out that whilst Ricky’s deal had secured the team £6000 worth of sales he had made some vital mistakes that potentially hindered the end result but it was Gabrielle’s lack of spark that led the finger to point at her. Just as we all sat looking at our television screens wondering how on earth Stephen had managed to avoid the black cab for yet another week, Lord Sugar turned it into a double firing and Stephen left with his bottom lip sticking out.

For a minute or two it seemed like Ricky was about to make it a hat-trick but Lord Sugar let him fight another day.

Only two tasks remain… who is this year’s winner? Will it be Ricky and his calm collective exterior, Adam with his quick wit and market trader charm or one of the others that we all seem to forget as the week goes on?

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